History – In the Beginning

Soil, water, building materials, fuels and minerals were of great concern to the frontier citizens of territories and newly constituted states. Organizations devoted to the acquisition of knowledge about these earth resources were thus developed early in the history of most states, and the organization often formed was a geological survey.

Nebraska was no exception. An ad hoc geological survey was established within the University of Nebraska in 1871, four years after statehood and the year the university opened its doors to students. This early survey was one of the two sources of the modern Nebraska Geological Survey (NGS), a major part of the Conservation and Survey Division (CSD), University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


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Images and description about the five buildings that the Nebraska Geological Survey and Conservation and Survey Division have occupied.

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Historical Photographs

Images of various CSD activities from the 1890s through the 1970s.

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Images and brief summaries of the directors of the Conservation and Survey Division.

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Original Legislation

Text of the original 1921 legislation that created the Conservation and Survey Division.

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Nebraska Soil Survey

A 221-page History of Nebraska Soil Survey is available in PDF format.